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I’ve been desperately searching for a book I read as a child in the early 2000’s. I was born in ’92 and would’ve been somewhere between 8 and 12 when I read this book.

I’m a bit fuzzy on details but I strongly believe this book was about these people who lived near a deep chasm in the human world and a young boy’s sister goes missing after being seen near it and it’s now his duty to find her. He traverses into the chasm and finds himself in a magical world. There’s definitely a griffin (or possibly a giant eagle ?) he ends up befriending. This is where things get fuzzy; I’m pretty sure he finds out his sister is dead and he and the griffin make her a grave. I’m pretty sure he ends up entangled in a war of some sort and helps the magical creatures triumph, but I’m not 100% sure on this. I’m pretty sure the griffin/eagle flies him back up the chasm at the end.

It’s basically like a fantasy story about this boy coming of age and proving his strength and bravery. It’s been driving me nuts for years because I remember so vividly loving this book but I can’t remember the name or author or much of the details, what sticks out most in my memory is the chasm and the griffin.

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    The Divide by Elizabeth Kay has the chasm and the griffin and the coming of age, but not the sister. Does that look familiar at all? – Kitkat Dec 4 '18 at 16:18
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It could be The Wayfinder by Darcy Pattison. Description from Goodreads:

Young Winchal Eldras is a Wayfinder, one of the gifted few of G'il Rim who have the ability to locate anything: a lost ring, the way home, a blue dress in the marketplace, a lost child. "Finding" is a valuable talent in this city that sits dangerously close to the Rift, a mysterious, unexplored chasm. When the Rift claims his little sister in a bizarre accident, though, Win is reduced to a Wayfinder who's lost his way. But suddenly there's no time for grief--the plague has come to the Heartland. And only healing water from the Well of Life, on the other side of the Rift, can stop it. A prophecy commands that Win must make the terrible journey to seek the Well. But no one has ever braved the dangers of the Rift and returned to tell about it! To make matters worse, Win suddenly has a traveling companion in Lady Kala, a prized-and royally stubborn--Tazi hound with a few gifts of her own. A Wayfinder with no direction can't possibly manage this imperious creature from the King's kennels, much less save a civilization on the edge of destruction.

Booklist Review:

Winchal Eldras is an apprentice Wayfinder, a member of an elite group of people who can locate anything or anyone. When Win’s little sister slips out of the house one foggy night, he tracks her to the edge of the Great Rift, where his fear of heights causes him to freeze, and she falls to her death. Bereft, Win retreats into himself. Then a prince of the Heartland arrives with news of a rapidly spreading plague and taps Win to journey through the Rift to find the Well of Life, whose waters are the only cure. With resignation, Win begins the arduous trek, joined by Lady Kala, a royal gazehound with her own special powers. The pair winds its way past a giant eagle, a deadly crocodile, a venomous tatzelwurm, and other dangers.

  • OP here, I somehow ended up making an actual username and account when trying to sign back into the Iser one, but anyway... thank you so much for the responses! I do believe The Wayfinder is it! It sounds exactly right and even the cover reminds me of it, I do remember it being mostly brown colors! – trulybrilliant Dec 7 '18 at 1:13
  • @trulybrilliant Hi there! Glad you came back to give feedback - you can merge your accounts by following the instructions there. This way, you'll be able to formally accept Ayshe's answer :) Please do; it will show everyone the mystery was solved, and reward both you and Ayshe with some reputation (and is the proper way to do things, eheh!) – Jenayah Dec 7 '18 at 1:16

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